Der Spiegel has several photo galleries of the destruction of German cities during the Second World War and of the consequent architectural decisions taken after the war. The pictures reveal horrendous devastation. I must repeatedly ask myself what lunacy must have prompted Europeans to engage in such fratricide—and suicide—in the first half of the twentieth century. To consider the amount of human, social, and civilizational destruction that occurred in the last century, with two world wars, totalitarian dystopia, and the alienation of Europeans from their past is profoundly disturbing. So much was lost, and what was gained? Wisdom? The West is full of fools finding themselves wise in their decadence.
The photographs of German cities before and after the war manifest in images what I think of the recent evolution of the West. Consider:
“Germany Comes to Terms with its Ugliest Buildings”
with its photo gallery: “When Architecture Goes Wrong”
“A New Look at Germany’s Postwar Reconstruction”
with its photo gallery: “A Century-Long Project”
Other related photo galleries:
“Architecture Out of the Gray”
“Emerging from the Ruins”
“An Endless Sea of Concrete Apartment Blocks”
“Problematic Postwar Architecture”
“Women in the Rubble”
Do we see an end to the madness—to the modern dark age?